Putin finds partner in Africa: oil fields under control

Vladimir Putin has invited the President of Uganda to visit Moscow. As the same time, it has been reported that Russia may play a role in Museveni's oil saga. The talks on development of oil fields have been going on for some years so far. Irina Filatova, one of the leading Russian Africanists, Professor, Doctor of Historical Sciences at the Higher School of Economics told Pravda.Ru what has changed and which are the prospects.

As far as I know a Russian RT-Global Resources company seeks building an oil refinery. In 2015 it won a contract. Everything was fine, but then some difficulties occurred. The fact is that in 2016 Uganda claimed that it would not carry out negotiations with the South Korean contender. This invitation may be connected with a will to help this Russian company.

Which is the potential of these oil fields?

There are about 6-6.5 billions of barrels. Over 2 of them are produced quite easily. The case is that Uganda's government prefers slow production to extend resources for a longer term and get maximum profit. While developing companies want to make it quick.

Museveni also proposed Russia to establish a shipping line which would connect the Eastern Africa with Russia. It it expedient?

It may be done. The main problem of Russia's trade with Africa is that little has been offered apart from resources and weapons. We deliver Sukhoi Su-30 airplanes and other military equipment, but a shipping line is not needed to deliver it.

Why is namely Uganda willing to cooperate with Russia? Which role does it play in the region?

This country is quite stable. Museveni has been ruling the country for as long as 31 year. When he came, he abolished all the parties and then democratic order was returned, parties restored. Each elections won by Museveni were alternative ones, candidates were quite real. Results were not contested. Museveni carried out one of the most successful campaigns in Africa on combating AIDS, he introduced free elementary education. However, oil has been also found in Kenya and Tanzania, the whole region is covered with oil fields, but we have worked with Uganda only so far.

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